After several years in education and many more acquiring degrees from colleges I often wonder what are we teaching the next generation.
I suppose the better question might be are we preparing students for tomorrow?
March 16th 2020 changed the way I viewed education. I wanted to be hip and out front. But at 50 I had a better chance of blowing out a hip.
On that date everything changed worldwide. As we know Corona-19 came to town and decided to stay awhile. It uprooted everything.
We went from a school trying to cut back on copying paper to working virtually from home until October the same year.
We went from paper work packets with some creative ideas sprinkled in to 100% online from our kitchen tables. There might of been 5% of the teachers worldwide ready to go on spring break to not coming back on campus for seven months.
There were no more excuses for teachers to rely on the famous...I don’t understand technology.
That was gone in a flash.
Everyone was in full bore learning mode and trying to figure out exactly how to get on the same page. Shoot I never even spent time on a Microsoft Teams and now it’s the only way I conduct meetings.
I never opened Microsoft notebook and now it is one of the main vessels we use for keeping students straight.
I see the headlines about online teaching doesn’t work and I can see why. But in defense to everyone living in this reality of trying to make it work. We are getting better.
It has been a steep learning curve but I am seeing changes that are healthy for the education world. I just hope we don’t throw everything we learned away when things “go back to normal.” (Which I am pretty sure that ship sailed.)
What Is Important
The more time I spend in this environment the more I believe what is important is to not only teach the next generation, but teach them how to find answers.
I have never been great in school. I did not even graduate high school. But I did figure out how to find answers to questions I had. This was before google! (I actually spent time in a book store, and no it wasn’t online.)
But now when a teacher doesn’t know an answer to something what do they do? They go to google and either read about the question they have, watch a video, or some other source.
If something breaks in my home I can type that thing into a search engine and go to YouTube in about 10 minutes know exactly how to fix it.
For instance how so you set up a virtual classroom? BAM…now I know!!!
This Might Surprise You
I am amazed at how much time students spend online but have zero idea on how to research and find any answers online. It is amazing how few have discovered that every answer they may have is a few keystrokes away.
Find The Answer
When the world basically blew up I know for a fact that teachers were running to google and other resources to find out how we do this. We had creative teachers creating videos to share with staff on how to set up classrooms in Teams.
Teachers knew they had to find answers and find them fast. They were walking blind into a situation they knew hardly anything about.
But guess what they found out.
Same Is True For Students
I know there are traditional things we all need to know. There are many things I have forgotten. Thinking back to my Masters degree. I don’t remember 85% of the lessons taught to me. But I do know if I need the answer where to go and find it.
So why would we force students to remember every jot and tittle that falls out of our mouth yet look down upon them researching and knowing where to find answers.
This generation is so non-prepared for the world they are walking into, yet we continue doing the same thing over and over.
I am coming to grips that education is not only about imparting knowledge but teaching this next generation how to locate and find the answers they need. How to access the wealth of tools that are at their disposal. To see the hidden wealth that is in front of us and telling them to go and claim it.